Despite the influence GoldenEye had on First Person Shooters at the time, there has been a surprising lack of indie titles trying to recapture that retro feel. There are some, of course, like the excellent looking Agent 64: Spies Never Die, but such games are few and far between. That’s why when I saw the announcement The Spy Who Shot Me for the Nintendo Switch, I was very excited.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

Agent 7 is one of the top Agents at MI-69, although it’s hard to see why. Despite appearing to be a combination of every single James Bond actor, he’s in actuality more like Johnny English. He has the charm and the wise-cracking remarks, for sure, but he also seems to rely an awful lot on dumb luck to ensure his success. Regardless, Agent 7 is a very likeable main character, and all his little quirks – such as using his sex appeal to play chess, or his complete disregard for all his fancy gadgets – only really adds to his personality.

The game itself, and its plot, is all very ridiculous and quite predictable – but intentionally so. As you work against a faction super villains named S.C.U.M., you soon find out that there may be a mole  inside the agency. There’s explosions, submarines, disguises, skiing, speedboats, and all the secret agent tropes you can fling a shoe phone at. It’s all done with a hefty degree of humour, which is mostly well done for the most part. There are jokes that don’t hit, but they come so thick and fast that it won’t be long before you’re smiling again.


As for the gameplay itself: whilst on the surface, it seems to take inspiration from GoldenEye, it’s actually more akin to something like The World Is Not Enough or No-one Lives Forever instead. Much like the latter, the game centres around a central hub area (the MI-69 building) and you’re free to wander around and perhaps test a new gadget before you receive a new mission – or replay an old one. I do wish there was a little bit more you could do here, but I still think its a pleasant inclusion regardless.

The main missions span over multiple different environments, which each one usually further broken down into several more varied stages. To give you an example of the type of structure you may expect, there’s one mission that has you following another agent up a mountain  so that you can infiltrate the base hidden deep within the snow, After clearing out that threat, you must both ski down to the bottom to safety.

Each level has a series of objectives for you to complete but – unlike GoldenEye – you only have to complete the primary one to beat the mission. There are multiple varied secondary objectives should you wish to earn additional star ratings, but given that there’s no reward for doing do then I doubt many will concern themselves too much. I had hoped that the higher difficulty would enforce these side objectives, like with Rare’s classics, but that is not the case either. The hard mode is really just a higher enemy count more than anything. Even if there’s no real reason to do them, it’s still nice that they’re included as it certainly provides a little extra challenge for those looking to get 100%.

In fact, having optional objectives could actually a blessing in some regards, as the game really doesn’t mess around in terms of difficulty. Whilst not being an overly tough game, it certainly is punishing – and those looking to play it like GoldenEye or Perfect Dark will find themselves dying quite frequently. Each shot you take will take a whopping 20 health points from your total, meaning that only five shots will send you to your grave. With only some levels having checkpoints, it can be rather disheartening when you see that red screen of death as it will often mean replaying a large section all over again.


It’s a good thing then that the levels are typically a lot of fun to play through, especially as you get further into the game. Earlier stages don’t quite have the same charm as some of the fantastic later levels, particularly as the dumb guards there don’t even carry guns, but they’re still fun to explore for secrets. You’ll be doing a fair amount of exploring anyway due to the game’s rather unusual key system, that has you activating floating ‘7’ icons in order to unlock certain doors; something that seems strange at first, but you eventually get used to.

The gunplay is where the game is really at though, as all the weapons are very satisfying to use. There aren’t many to choose from, with there only being five main guns to use, but they’re all very meaty. The shotgun is my particular favourite as the primary blast is strong enough to deal with hordes of foes and the secondary grenade launcher works a charm on shielded foes. But even the lowly pistol just  feels right to use; its silenced function reminded me of the PP7 with its satisfying clunk sound, and there’s even some utility due to it being able to take out some foes without alerting their friends. Sure, sometimes enemies aren’t alerted anyway due to the often wonky AI, but it’s still fun to use.


One issue I did have though was with the game’s default control scheme. As well as not supporting gyro aiming (although this is something I did get used to it, thanks to the very forgiving auto-aim), the initial aiming speed is horrendously sluggish. This can be altered in the game’s options menu, but I had to crank it all the way to maximum in order to make it feel sensitive enough. I do appreciate that it can be adjusted in the settings, but it’s baffling that they’d have the default setting so low.

But the game’s faults don’t really matter al that much when it’s just so fun to play. It did take me a while to get used to, mainly due to thinking it would play exactly like GoldenEye, but once it clicked with me I just couldn’t put it down. There’s so much creativity here, that I just couldn’t help but love it. The dumb humour, the great guns, the varied environments, the wonderfully ridiculous non-shooting missions, and so much more, all add to the experience and make you walk a way with a smile on your face.

It certainly took me a few levels to really click with what The Spy Who Shot Me is, but when I did I became hooked. It may not be like GoldenEye, but it’s very much it’s own thing – and thankfully that thing is still a really fun game. If you can ignore some of the small gripes, there’s a really addictive game here that you may end up loving.